pranabNew Delhi, Nov 24 (PTI) President Pranab Mukherjee today expressed profound sorrow over the demise of former Petroleum Minister Murli Deora.

In a condolence message to Deora’s wife, Hema Deora, the President said, “It was with profound sorrow that I learnt of the sad demise of Murli Deora, an esteemed colleague and long-standing friend. As a Union Minister, distinguished Parliamentarian, veteran leader and a committed Congressman, Deora had served the nation with dedication”.

In his passing, the nation has lost an eminent leader and social worker whose long years in public service will be remembered for years to come, Mukherjee said.

“He leaves behind many memories of his amiable nature and organisational skills. The people of India, especially his home state, Maharashtra, shall value his significant contribution towards growth and progress in our country.

“Kindly accept my heartfelt condolences and convey the same to other members of your family. I pray to the Almighty to give you and your family the strength and courage to bear this irreparable loss,” the President said.

Deora, 77, passed away today in Mumbai after prolonged illness.